INTERESTING BITS: Helter Skelter – J. Michael Dolan’s Take
Since I started blogging in 2011, I’ve always tried to write at least two blogs a week. Not an easy task no matter how short they are, but certainly a task I love and one that pushes me and provides just enough discipline to keep me sharp.
However, this past few months I’ve been squeezing out barely one a week, slammed with an unexpected flurry of personal challenges that insist I remain at the top of my game and demand precision thinking and diligent decision making. One of the challenges has to do with a major health issue facing someone very close to me, and the other is a time-crunching project that I committed to two years ago that has yet to produce the results I expected. I do believe there is a light at the end of the tunnel, but man, that light constantly flickers from dim to bright.
That said, I’m reminded how Seth Godin emails a blog every single day and has rarely missed a day in decades. I’m sure he gets slammed with unexpected circumstances too! How does he do that? I’ll tell you how he does it; he writes a blog every day, then queues it up and launches it. There is no other secret.
I’m also reminded how Wayne Dyer ran eight miles every single day, rain or shine, for 29 years! I’m sure he got slammed with unexpected circumstances too! How did he do that? I’ll tell you how he did it; he got up every morning, put on his tennis shoes and ran out the door. There is no other secret.
All this reminds me of a blog I wrote back in 2016 called “Romancing The Stone.” It’s the mythical story of the Greek King Sisyphus, who was severely punished by the god Zeus for his deception and trickery. He was ordered to push a huge boulder up a steep hill. However, every time he got close to the top the massive stone would always roll back down, forcing Sisyphus to begin again and again, for eternity.
Important because we are all faced with giant boulders that we must continue to push up the hill. Sometimes we choose our own boulder and sometimes life blindsides us and insists we start shoving a different one. Nevertheless, when we get close to the top and the boulder rolls back down we are always faced with the same choice; do I just stand at the bottom and do nothing, or do I start over and begin shoving? Of course we artists & treps are programmed to keep pushing no matter what. However, that choice can often be as heavy as the boulder itself.
“When I get to the bottom
I go back to the top of the slide
Where I stop and turn
And I go for a ride
Till I get to the bottom and I see you again…”
—Beatles, Helter Skelter
J. Michael Dolan
[Editor’s note: Mr. Dolan has terrific advice for musicians. Sign-up for his weekly blog!]